Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Project - Advice wanted

So I am almost finished with my Winter reloading projects. I know I been saying that for a few weeks but I am about to press out the last 200 rounds of .223 Rem and seal them up with the other 800 I finished this Winter into one of those large double handled ammo cans. I also have another 200 .38 to finish up to be sealed into a 50 cal. can with the other 400 I did this Winter.

Most of the .38 is all hand cast bullets as well. The last batch of the cast bullets have hardened and been lubed now and are just waiting to be run through the sizing die.

This box of 1000 .223 have all been reloaded from range brass, most of it brass I collected as left overs from the shooting range and about 90% stuff  I didn't fire myself. Maybe about 100 of the 1000 came from my own shoots and I used about another 150 or so from a bag of range brass I purchased a few years ago. As you can imagine there is a wide variety of manufacturers represented and I am really beginning to dislike case prepping .223 brass.

I spend more time checking the length, trimming and beveling as needed, checking the damnable primer pocket for a crimp then setting aside the ones that need swagged, then swagging them, and finally actually getting a primer into all of them. Some of the various batches can be a real pain in the ass let me tell you. Some of them do not have a crimp but require swagging anyway to take the primer properly and some of them have some weak rims that will actually break off while hand priming with very little pressure. I have very very few issues with any other caliber of brass. It is rare for me to ruin a primer or throw away a case or even need to trim much on in any caliber but .223/5.56.

I find I am ruining about two or three primers per 100 cases more or less which is better odds than I was getting from range brass before. I have learned to be a bit more careful now and chuck any case that is uncooperative and not forcing the issue as much.

Anyway the case prep has been very time consuming but now that it is almost finished I am thinking I am going to need another project until the ground dries enough to begin tilling up the area I plan on putting fruit trees in. I did something this afternoon I said I wasn't going to do and as I finished up clearing out the fenceline I had been working on. I had the mower out so I cleared another large spot of tall weeds turning it into more yard. After I was finished I kept looking at the now freshly mown section and thinking that it might be a nice spot for a small chicken coop.

Maybe it is time to finally start getting some of those predator magnet, weak, sickness prone birds after all? I been designing a coop this evening and I am thinking maybe to start with six birds if I am not too late to get them that is. We will have to see.

Any advice of types I should look for?

I am still not sure it will be worth while but maybe I can keep the "stray who stayed" dog from killing them and I am thinking he is even doing a good job of running off the coons as well since I saw him chase one out of the barn the other day. He also chases off the possum so we won't have a Carolyn scenario to worry about.

Just not totally sure at this point. I will go into town and price the lumber I think I need later this morning along with some decent wire for the attached run.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. When I was a child we had Bantams ,Small tough and aggressive. Closest to the wild stock. the eggs are small , but the birds have a good survival rate. Good Luck!-- Ray

    1. Good information to know. Thank you!!!

  2. If you want eggs only, look at getting sex-linked chicks. There are about three different kinds: black, red, gold. They call them that because the female chicks are a different color than the males making it virtually guaranteed that you'll have all hens. Contrary to what most people think, you don't need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs. We have the red sex-link (Golden Comets) and there was only about a two week period where they didn't lay due to molting.

    1. PB - That's a good idea I wonder if anyone around here has them. I didn't even know thee was such a thing but if I can find some it would make things so much simpler. I did know about the rooster thing but doesn't a rooster increase egg laying by a measurable bit?

    2. Our Tractor Supply has them. Here in NC, they are pretty common with the commercial egg producers because they don't have spend any feed on chicks until they get them properly sexed.

      We didn't want a rooster because we are vegetarian and didn't want the eggs fertilized. Actually, a rooster can cause them to sometimes not lay because he can run them ragged. Remember that an egg is just an ovum with a food supply and a shell. A woman ovulates whether she has sex or not and she has a finite number of eggs. It's the same with chickens, they just ovulate just about every day.

      Another thing to consider: I assume you don't have a problem with eating them as they get older and their production drops off. Whether you do or don't, I would recommend that you stagger the age of the chickens in your flock. We originally wanted about 6 - 9 chickens and had planned on getting 2 - 3 every 2nd or 3rd year so that you always have some that are of proper laying age. Unfortunately (or a blessing?) we bought 4 and the lady gave us 3 for free as she couldn't keep them anymore. I can tell you that with 7 hens, we get an average of 6 eggs every day, day in and day out.

    3. One thing I forgot to mention as to why you don't want a rooster with sex-link chickens to produce more chicks: they don't breed true. If you look up about sex-links, you'll see that for each kind you have to have a specific breed of hen and a specific breed of rooster. If you breed a sex-link hen, none of the chicks will be sex-link. Now if you want to self-maintain your small flock then by all means you need a rooster and you either hatch your own chicks from your own eggs or let one of the hens go broody and raise her own. If you hatch the eggs yourself, you will get better control over how many chicks you will get.

  3. My climate is the same as yours. Last spring we went with barred rock. We never lost any to the high temps of last summer and this years cold and snow have caused no losses. A great duel purpose bird.

  4. With descent hollow points, you can probably sell the reloads to buy the birds.


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